Letters to the Editor
May 5, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
After reading last week’s Editorial, I can either write my Second Opinion obit, or use as few extra words to call to arms the people who understand the nature of democracy and know that ginned-up complete distrust of one of two political parties will destroy that democracy. The choice: give up or fight back by all means sans violence.
Our form of government requires a certain level of trust in each other and at least a partially shared vision of our country’s potential and commitment to opportunity for all. We may be at a point where that is not possible, where aiming slightly beyond our reach for the good of the many as opposed to billionaires, the religious right, and anti-government militias, does not compute for the Trump base (TB; I do not believe that all Relicans are so afflicted).
President Biden’s plan to lift the middle class and poor population and their children from the stagnancy of the long failed experiment in “trickle-down” economics is rejected by TB Relicans as “socialism!!!” and an attempt to destroy the country by wrenching it from the exclusive control of the rich. But it’s not just policy differences they condemn. It is the ethics, the very identity and nature of the Democratic Party members that they attack in case a stray Relican should agree with Biden’s economic programs.
Over time, no one has soiled the argument more than our esteemed editor, and never more clearly than last week: "As long as any Democrat Party members have anything to do with election ballot counting I have no confidence in a true and honest conclusion." Dems believe that government can sometimes be the best instrument of positive change. But TB Relicans, they who believe that government can or should not function at all, want to regain and keep the reins of power. What could go wrong?
If that’s the case, game over. All we have left is to play out another civil war, an option for which I have read approval in this newspaper. Forget trying to work out major national problems, forget that the middle class is the backbone of the country. But keep the low-bar ethics of the TB Relican Party and bathe in the obstructionism and nihilism they have elevated to an art. Find all the ways that Biden’s attempts to improve the lot of ordinary Americans can be sabotaged so TB Relicans can reach the dizzying achievement of “owning the Libs.”
Who cares if a novel and deadly world-wide disease killed over half a million people in this country and the resulting economic scourge devastated many who could least withstand it? TB Relicans have no plan, and never have had a plan, of their own. Don’t need one; just prevent those Libs from offering a new vision for our democracy in a new world. The rich are doing fine; their wealth increased by millions and billions during the pandemic;
no change needed, no worries there.
People, including editors, are entitled to their opinions. When those opinions dismiss and vilify any attempt to improve the lot of ordinary Americans to the point of starting, defending, and forgiving rebellion (remembering Trump’s January 6 Capitol Insurrection), it is worth noting. With no one commenting otherwise, a fundamental choice is forming. Political in packaging, but death of the republic at its heart. To give up is not an option.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Biden gave his first address to Congress last week. In the address he made the following statement, “Our Constitution opens with the words, ‘We the People’. It’s time we remembered that We the People are the government.” I’ve followed our local elected Congresswoman Julia Brownley this past year and question who she is representing. Is it her party or the people of Ventura County? I point this out as Brownley supported HR1 which, among other things, allows minors to register to vote when Ventura County said no to Prop 18 which was to allow 17-yearolds to vote. On her website Brownley made a statement on Biden’s address to Congress. In the statement Brownley said “...I am committed to working with President Biden and Vice President Harris to ensure we restore faith in our democracy, open doors to opportunity, and deliver for the people.” Guess we now know which one she represents.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
April 28, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
Patti Walker criticized or observed, not sure which, that my opinions are not “equally levied.” Opinions, like faith, do not need to be anything in particular,’ not even reasonable, and certainly not equally levied or “fair and balanced,” the language for which Ms. Walker seemed to be struggling. It’s why Fox News gets away with the braying of someone like Sean Hannity, or the tick-tock, side-to-side eyes of a near-hysterical white nationalist, our snarling Tucky. I am not a journalist. I simply make observations and draw conclusions. You can agree or disagree. And Martin will appreciate it.
“What-aboutism” is still popular, apparently. “Trump was a ___ (fill in the blank) but Biden is a bigger one.” I have never been attracted to this line of argument. It is reminiscent of the school yard taunt of someone who doesn’t really want to argue at all but won’t concede the point. “Maybe Biden’s lies are the same “fake news”. Or maybe not. Is this a suggestion that perhaps Biden will prove to have the same low presidential standards as Trump? I think not, but time will tell.
A political situation of which you may wish to be aware is occurring in Arizona. Not content with the three prior recounts of the 2020 AZ presidential election results, none of which changed the original award to Biden, the AZ Relican Party has instituted yet a fourth challenge to be held in secrecy, no press allowed anywhere in the building, to be monitored by members of OAN (One America News), the network that makes Fox News look like a “serious, mainstream middle of the road news network.” ‘Cause truth and fairness are optional on this mission.
Governmental audits are conducted to a high level of analysis and protocol. The Yellow Book, of which I heard when I was on staff of the City of Fillmore many years ago, is not scheduled to be consulted by AZ Relicans in this process. This is a political operation with only one objective (regardless of facts) so why frustrate declaring AZ for Trump with a bunch of sissy standards?
AZ Relicans have assigned themselves the duty to “keep the Big Lie alive;” The idea that Trump won the 2020 presidential election. The idea that Trump’s January 6 Insurrection challenging the legislators who did not agree with their election fantasies was somehow an act of patriotism. Because only Relicans can rule.
Surely, this gang of politically schizophrenic junk yard dogs will soon declare their intended result (one hour into the "process' they declared clear evidence of fraud). I have to assume that some of these folks have loved ones who overlook their madness and care for them. Time for that intervention the family has been whispering about for the last five months.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
April 14, 2021

To the Editor:
I have read with great interest some of Kelly Scoles’s comments for the past year. While I respect her right to an opinion, an opinion should be equally levied. In reviewing Ms. Scoles’s letters, I fear hers are levied based upon party politics.
Case in point, in her letter of 2-26-20 Kelly said “Even more concerning is his (sic Trump’s) view of the presidency and the balance of power. Ask yourself this: if and when a Democrat becomes president again, will you still insist that when he/she exercises ‘unlimited power over government’ he/she can do ‘whatever I want?’ No checks and balances, no calling out the president for overreach.”
If one believes Trump overreached, how about the number of Biden’s Executive Orders? According to CNN it’s 50 and he’s been office for 73 days. And to quote Biden in defense of these executive actions, he’s undoing the “bad policy” inherited from Trump, especially on immigration.
In the same letter, she said, “Trump is a man who famously lies constantly. It’s as if he’s testing to see just how far afield he can go before his crowd turns on him in disbelief. So far, he can lie at will, and claim that anyone who challenges his many untruths or misconduct is perpetrating a ‘hoax’ or a ‘fake news’ story, or a treasonous attack on, not just him, but the country itself. “ Maybe Biden’s lies are the same “fake news”.
Biden’s voiced numerous lies, one this past week about Georgia’s new election law. He continued to spew the “Jim Crow” monologue even days after it was proven he was wrong. Biden voiced his disapproval of the All-Star game being played in Georgia and urging the MLB to pull the game out of the state. Which of course with his blessing, they have.
Kelly and others may continue to believe in the disproven “Russian collusion” mantra voiced during the entire Trump administration, how about Biden’s position on China? Iran has made a pact with China and then there’s China’s “New Military Cooperation Pact” with Russia. Where’s the concern with Biden’s acceptance of what’s happening internationally?
And another lie for Biden when he said, “I made it clear that no American president, at least one did, but no American president ever backed down from speaking out of what’s happened to the Uyghurs, what’s happened in Hong Kong, what’s happening in the country. That’s who we are.” The moment a president walks away from that, as the last one did, is the moment we begin to lose our legitimacy around the world.” Well, Trump issued sanctions against China regarding the human right abuses occurring in China, and Biden said the genocide is part of China’s “different norms” and has removed from the State Dept page commentary that highlight the abuses.
Or the one “the vast majority, the overwhelming majority of people coming to the border and crossing are being sent back”. Well, that’s the biggest doozy of them all.
So to those who were fearful of Trump, are you equally fearful of Biden? I’ll end this similar to how Kelly ended hers in 2020, 1,129 days into Trump’s presidency, this is how I feel 73 days into Biden’s, I don’t hate Biden, I fear him and I fear for the future of our republic.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
April 7, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
A couple of housecleaning items. Sidney Powell herself, through her attorney in the defamation suit, offered the defense that no one with any sense would have believed her arguments that the election was “rigged.” That’s what she thought of Trump’s challenges to the election results (and every last court in the country agreed with her). Some hero. Your attorney, after the case is over, tells everybody how idiotic her argument was on your behalf. Well, she and Trump do have something in common. They’ll betray anybody.
You argued that, even though it is considered improper, VP Harris should return the salute of the military in boarding Air Force Two. Who cares that people who really know say she that she should not. You sniff at her “frivolous misunderstanding of the military” and link it to Democratic “treachery.” Careful, Martin. At our ages, leaps like that can really play havoc with the knees.
In addition, a weapon can be something other than a firearm, plenty of which were found on the capitol grounds on January 6. Knives, pipes, fire extinguishers, flag staffs can also inflict harm and certainly hold the promise of it. The guy in Pelosi’s office was not “relaxing.” He was celebrating his takeover of her congressional digs. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
In case you are remotely interested, you can Google Sen. Ron Johnson’s comments about only fearing the January 6 mob if they had been black.
The only thing I will say at this point about Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is that we’ve all known jerks like that in high school or college. They’re all over everything and everybody and have no wish to control their appetites, under the influence or not, and are invariably proud of it. They are forever-boys with no character or interests outside their own (remind you of someone?). Even the Relicans, except for Gym Jordan who has significant ethics problems of his own, dislike Gaetz. He was the only member of Congress, Relican or Democrat, who voted against the “Violence Against Women Act.” Now we know why, but no one in his Party thought it odd.
I wouldn’t speak of him except he won’t zip it and he won’t go away. Former president Trump has been busy. He and the missus have offered themselves, for a price, to attend parties and glow in the dark. No policy discussions, that’s for rallies. They’ll just mingle and mug and vocalize his victimization. His organization in Mar-a-Lago (whatever it is and whatever plans) fixed it so people who donated once to his…it’s not a campaign, I guess it is a cause (him)… got hit with recurring donations without their permission. Once caught, the organization returned some of the money. He grifted, once again, his own base and they seem to be fine with that. Lollipop, lollipop.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
March 31, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
In an argument or mere discussion, one side sometimes conjures up the most outlandish, far-fetched, and yet apparently emotionally self-soothing, arguments designed to refute an opponent (giraffes? Shaquille?). Feelings that the LGBTQ community is somehow deviating from God’s will - and that you know God’s will for them - or that gender variation or sexuality is at their option, are more indicative of fear than of reason. It is difficult to talk anyone beyond fear, especially when it is irrational or not based in fact. Fear is primal. So, all that remains is to raise and argue an objection, reintroduce the truth that we are all on a journey to what we hope will be our best selves, and carry on. Until the next time. That aside, I am once again looking for the humor in our politics.
I caught Hannity’s rant on the shocking lack of patriotism and respect for the military shown by VP Kamala Harris who, when boarding Air Force Two, “failed to return salute” the military! Legal and military historians later explained that it would be technically improper, as the VP is not in the military chain of command. The “return salute" was adopted by the theatrically-inclined Ronald Reagan in the 80’s as a regular gesture. It was amusing to watch Hannity breathlessly reporting this terrible, scandalous, non-failure of the VP.
Joe Biden, in running up the stairs to Air Force One, slipped and fell a couple of times, got up, and continued on his way. Tucker Carlson castigated the press for failing to trumpet it as “Breaking News.” Our economic challenges, immigration issues, vaccine roll out, Covid relief package, and voter suppression should be subordinate to "the fall." An older man as was the last president, and their mishaps. That Tucky. What a card!
Ari Fleischer sarcastically pointed out that President Biden, in his first press conference, used 14-point print notes rather than wear glasses! Aha! Biden is so mentally-compromised that he had to have a large, tabbed folder of information for the presser. OMG, he was prepared for accurate answers to reporters’ questions! The last guy winged it, making it up as he went along (bleach!) and that went so well. Not sorry; I laughed.
Trump proclaimed, on the day and time of Biden's first presser, that the insurrectionists on January 6 hugged and kissed (!) the Capitol police officers and posed no threat. Relican Senator Ron Johnson said he would have only been afraid if the mob had been black. OK, I didn’t laugh at the lies and racist remarks. Some in the base will give both a pass.
But the knee-slapper was Sidney “Kraken” Powell, Trump’s lawyer who got thrown out of every court in the land for her arguments that the election was stolen by election machines set to ensure a Biden win. She was sued for defamation by the manufacturer of the machines. Her defense? That her court filings and public statements were so unbelievable that no reasonable person would accept them as true. They were political hyperbole and not meant to be factual.
His own lawyer had no idea if Trump's Election Big Lie was true but knew it would be taken as such by extremists. Not laughable. Sorry.
By Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
The 117th House of Representatives have passed HR 1 “For the People Act” relating to elections. It is now in the hands of the Senate which is equally divided. Currently each state legislation has the right to make election law as afforded it by the US Constitution. HR1 changes Article 4 of the Constitution by giving complete control of elections over to the House.
Not all of HR1 deals with voter rights. There are sections dealing with monies influence on elections and government accountability.
This is what it will do to voters rights: (1) when you apply for a drivers or non-drivers license in any state, or register with any state agency, you are automatically registered to vote, thereby giving 16- year-olds the right to vote; (2) opens windows to allow for DC to become a state, taking away its impartiality and we will be left without a centralized government; (3) allows for online and same day voter registration; (4) allows for ballot harvesting and (5), no identification is required whether voting at the box or absentee.
I’m not sure how requiring an ID is the root cause of voter suppression. You need an ID to travel by plane or Amtrak, open a bank account, buy or rent a car, visit a bar or liquor store, yet when it comes to voting that won’t be allowed.
You’re required to show your ID to receive the CV test or get the vaccine. Is that now raciest?
My position is those that are in favor of HR1 believe minorities are ignorant; they do not have the wherewithal to obtain any form of government issued ID. How insulting to all who are a minority.
HR1 will do the opposite of what the House is saying; it will end social justice and equality. Don’t give in to their quest or power. Don’t be a pawn to further their own interest.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 24, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
Well, I’ll be darned. I never thought I’d live to see the day that Martin Farrell advocated for women’s rights. True, he limited it to sports. Give those athletic little gals a chance, he argues. Don’t let born anatomical males take anything away from those hard-working darlin’s. I agreed with his statements supporting girl's and women's opportunities, and I was impressed with his insight. However, Martin soon revealed that his true advocacy is against men who, while retaining their special "body parts” are allowed by sports authorities to compete with women "...in order to palliate some guy who can't make it with real men and facilitates a new subspecies in the gender wars." Uh oh, it was not about women's or girl's rights; the "evils" of Title IX were referenced. It was about transgender women betraying their manhood. Oops.
I can't speak to the biology and chromosomal facts of adult transgender athletes; I just don't know enough about the data around the issue. I can understand that it is of great interest to the women competing against them. But to speak of a "new subspecies" in gender is a clear indication that the speaker is way out of his lane. I will speak here of primary and secondary school athletes in light of Title IX so as not to exceed my competence level.
LGBTQ, or any other term used to label human experience of sexuality or gender, is inadequate to define the experience of the individuals so described by self or others. These are people, first. Many of us have some challenges in understanding, appreciating, or recognizing the burden that much of society places on them, or anyone, for lack of “compliance.” I don’t know how many people labeled in that context would choose it. But what they can do, must do, and we must support them in this, is to accept and take joy in the person they are becoming. That is our lifelong personal mission, too. Anyone striving to become their full self when the world is so clearly resistant to such an aberration, loving and encouraging conformation as it does, we should all take notice and support their human quest.
Especially if one is a believer in a benevolent and intelligent Creator, it is hard to think how one could reject persons for the way they were made in the deepest part of their being. Generally speaking, primary and secondary school sports abilities do not vary widely between younger boys and girls. Girls have been known to play high school football. Young people, including athletes, who were born biologically inconsistent with their hearts, minds, and souls - whether as male or female - should be welcome to engage in their chosen activities as their true selves.
I would ask that people who take issue with Title IX offer an alternate statement giving girl's sports the same opportunities as are given to boys and to boys as are given to girls. It is a constitutional issue. There can be cases where an inequity is occurring. There are ways to deal with challenges. But I’m with Martin. Let’s give those girls a chance. All the girls.
By Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Last Thursday was a big day for the California State Board of Education. They adopted a model curriculum for ethnic studies classes in California public schools. In the curriculum students are encouraged to chant to Aztec gods - Tezkatlipoka and Huizilopochtli, to name two. Human sacrifices were offered to these gods - hundreds per year to Huizilopochtli - the sacrificial victims being captive Indians from tribes subjugated by the Aztecs. The victims were taken to the top of the temple where their hearts were cut out, they were dismembered, and their torsos were thrown off the side of the temple. The priests then ate parts of their bodies, the prized part being the victim's heart. The victims' blood was thought to strengthen the god.
This is all part of the Dept. of Education's plan to foster unity with "marginalized" segments of our society and to elevate the culture and beliefs of "pre-colonial aboriginal indigenous" people.
Of all the things that school children could glorify, these Aztec gods are among the worst. The Board of Education must think that human sacrifice and cannibalism are things to glorify. Ironically, with the adoption of this curriculum school children will be encouraged to chant to these pagan gods but will be forbidden from reciting the Lord's Prayer.
This is what happens when you elect progressive liberals to office. They come up with evil things like this. They don't know God (the real One, that is), so they encourage children to commit idolatry. They are tools of Satan to draw people away from Jesus, and what better way than to have school children seek enlightenment, power, unity, and strength by calling on the gods of the Aztecs?
You can find a good, short article on this new curriculum by searching the following online: "City-journal.org - Calf. ethnic studies curriculum (revenge of the gods)".
Pastor Leslie R. Lanier
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 10, 2021

Tothe Editor:
Second Opinion.
Your poetic appreciation for the mighty bird nearly brought tears to my eyes. I did not realize that your only-sometimes-crusty exterior housed such a sensitive soul! I appreciate, too, your agreement on “Relican Party” as an apt nickname for the formerly-GOP. True, it is not repugnant or insulting, as is the four-letter word you called the Democratic Party, but then I have not had that much experience with vermin. I kid Martin.
I am hoping that a Relican will explain something to me. What does your Party stand for? It looks like it stands for Trump, with all the manic, vengeful, and self-interested energy that implies, and for his “beautiful people” who stormed the Congress in Trump’s War on the Capitol, who are eager to swallow The Big Lie that he won the last presidential election. Apparently, they believe that every court in the land, and many Relican elections officials, conspired against poor Donald to deny him his prize. But Donald has always thought that it’s a conspiracy if he doesn’t prevail. And, miraculously, failure is never his fault.
To correct the "fraudulent election (The Big Lie) and ensure future elections for themselves, Relican legislatures are introducing bills to suppress the vote, and they freely admit they can't win otherwise. In GA, there is a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to offer water to people waiting in line to vote. This is the kind of country Relicans want?
In an all-night session, Democrats passed S-1 (HR-1), which includes a new round of up-to $1,400 stimulus checks for millions of Americans, $350 billion for cash-strapped cities and states, $130 billion for schools, and other sizable sums for a wide array of programs including food and rental assistance, coronavirus vaccine distribution, and $300/week in unemployment payments until early September. To keep people going until the virus is under control and make schools safe. We’ll see if the progressive House will accept the compromise win. I hope so.
Following passage, Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) complained that the bill was not passed "honestly" because, in reconciliation, a Relican minority could not block the legislation.
Last week, the “golden bull” of CPAC filed a “cease and desist order” to stop the RNC from using the Trump Name in their political ads if the intended recipient has voted for his impeachment or criticized him. He purports to be the “head of the Party,” but they can’t use his precious, potentially money-making name-recognition for the benefit of the Party. Why does the Relican Party put up with his peevish displays of avarice and ego and that of their congressionals?
So, GOP, what makes the Trump Act compelling? That he will incite to riot against our country to “save it” for people like himself, wealthy, white, Americans? That the only things that excite his attention are people who dispute him? That, in a democratic republic, only one voice should be heard, and it should be the one who doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about his fellow citizens or even fellow Relicans? What is the fatal attraction?
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 3, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
The GOP has taken delight in calling the Democratic Party the “Democrat Party.” Somehow, it amuses them, surely because it irritates some Democrats. I have sometimes been urged to "lighten up." So, what would amuse me? Let’s see, Pubs Party? Too fun. Repos? Descriptive and compact (would make Martin happy), but without elan. I know. The Relican Party. Sounds like something from a gauzy, long-ago era, slightly reminiscent of a bird with a large bill and distensible pouch with which it can make surprisingly loud noises, and which many mistake for an albatross. The GOP won't mind. They love a good joke.
My statements of opposition to Trump-Relicans are not based upon their political party; they are based upon their ideas and intransigence. Democracy requires integrity, analysis, weighing options and checking in with conscience. Our system of government needs a strong, thoughtful, and principled conservative voice. The present Relican Party does not represent such a voice.
But we have a few charlatans. Andrew Cuomo (Democratic governor of NY) is and always has been a pain in the neck, smug, bullying, bombastic, ego-maniacal, and now likely untruthful in a serious and substantial way (leaving aside for now the two sexual harassment claims) and should be held accountable. It’s bad enough if he did what is accused of regarding Covid statistics. The fact that he carried on like Sts. Peter and Paul in Covid-2020 just made him less sympathetic. His chances of ever being selected by the Democrats as a presidential candidate are “zayro.” Think of him as the Democratic Ted Cruz at CPAC without the sexual harassment issue. In Cuomo's favor is that he does not blame his young children for his political blunders.
I can accept errors, misjudgments, re-visitations, and just plain changing your mind for a good reason in politics. But trying to make yourself look good at the expense of public need, and offering a thuggish defense, is exactly what is not tolerable. We’ve been there, had that. And recently.
The easy political virtue of the Relicans was on dazzling display again last week. Gym Jordan and others objected to former Congressman and CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s nomination as Health and Human Services Secretary because he is not a physician specializing in virology. Trump’s HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, wasn’t either and it was irrelevant to his nomination. Then.
It is not essential that the HHS Secretary have taken the Hippocratic Oath as a doctor. But we see that it is a requirement of the Relican Congress that they take the Hypocritic Oath at every opportunity.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 24, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
I had planned on discussing Jackson Pollack, Pimm's Cup, and listing the weaponry retrieved from the mob in Trump's Capitol War, but two events intervened.
First, Texas (TX) is in a critical condition even as it warms up after a week of single-digit temperatures and the failure of their power grid. People are dying of the cold, lack of food and potable water, sanitation (frozen toilet pipes were being emptied into trash bags). The suffering there is still almost unimaginable. Governor Abbott (note to Don Jr., he's a Republican, not a Democrat) told Texans to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, and initially rejected federal assistance. He blamed the Green New Deal (which does not yet exist) for a long line of governors failing to regulate and make essential improvements to the power grid which TX and ERCOT operate, by choice outside the federal system. TX views power production as a profit enterprise rather than a public need. Larry Kudlow blames Biden.
Meanwhile, TX senator Ted Cruz counseled his constituents to "stay home and hug your kids" during the freezing storms, and blamed his 10- and 12-year-old daughters for forcing him to practice “good dad" skills by accompanying them on a flight to Cancun; what could he do in TX? Apparently Ted's wife, who went along, is incapable of chaperoning their children alone. (In TX, Democrats raised four million dollars for relief) While his staff was aiding and assisting constituents, Ted sniffed the looming PR disaster and hightailed it back to his stricken state and his poodle Snowflake, left alone in a freezing, dark house. And passed out one flat of water in an empty parking lot, absent aides and press.
Second, the phenomenon that was Rush Limbaugh died last week. No one would wish the suffering he endured with lung cancer on anyone. However, if the truly malign state of political affairs in the country could be laid at the feet of any one person, it would be Limbaugh. He started off as a well-informed comedic critic of The Left (fair enough) and morphed into a champion of those "without a voice" who would publicly utter for them the rude, cruel, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, conspiratorial, and undemocratic things they were too afraid or "civilized" to say themselves. They got over it.
Limbaugh had the astounding power to imprint a heroic persona on a man like Donald Trump, as unprincipled and fundamentally unattractive as he is, such that one political party would forgive him anything however gross, selfish, or illegal. His community of "Dittoheads" were convinced that the GOP was the working-class Party and equated any criticism of the patriotic Right by the Left with hatred of country. He burnished victimized validation and the ugly comfort of "us vs. them." Democrats were enemies of the state and were "not entitled to govern.” Dittos either do not understand or do not care that Democracy is not sustainable under those conditions.
“In my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement,” Limbaugh shared with the nation. You can't argue with that.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
After reading Kelly's letter and your response I am compelled to enter the conversation. I am sure if I had written anything close to what Kelly said about our former President Trump only using the name Barrack Obama and posted it on Facebook or Twitter I would be banned from those platforms for life. I find it difficult to understand how someone can spew forth such hatred toward our 45th President. I am sure writing as she does is symptomatic of a very unhappy liberal. Since Martin did such a thorough job dispelling Kelly's multitude of lies and misinformation, I simply want to provide some positive information concerning President Trump.
Shortly before Rush Limbaugh's death I am told he wrote the following letter to President Trump.
"My days on earth are numbered: But before I fade away, there is something important I need to say. It may not be important to anyone else: but it's important to me. Win, lose or fraud President Trump, I just want to say thank you for the last four years.
Thank you for making it cool to be an American again. Thank you for showing us that we don't need to be under China's thumb anymore economically, or any other way. Thank you for one of the strongest economies we've ever experienced in my lifetime.
Thank you for all you have done for the minority communities and the outstanding decrease in the unemployment rate you had. Thank you for making it feel good to love our country and to be a proud patriot again.
Thank you for supporting our Nation's flag and the men and women who fought for the freedom that stands behind that flag. Thank you for supporting our nation's law enforcement organizations, and understanding how difficult their job really is.
Thank you for quelling the flood of illegal immigration, and bringing to justice the thousands of criminals that flood brought us. Thank you for giving corporations a reason to come back to America to make our own products and put Americans back to work.
Thank you for bringing our troop’s home from endless deployments that presented us with little more than body bags: and for your commitment to strengthen our military.
Thank you for operation warp speed and keeping your promise to bringing the Covid 19 vaccine to us in less than a year. Thank you for your never-ending attempts at bringing peace to the Middle East and support Israel.
Thank you for your Tax relief, and thank you for our energy independence. Most of all though... THANK YOU for taking a damn rotten job that you never had to take!!! Thank you for caring enough for this country to want to try and make a difference.
Thank you for showing America how little Career Politicians actually work for their constituents: for showing us how much those politicians despise you for showing America how easy it is to build a great nation, rather than rape her to line their own pockets and stock portfolios.
Thank you for allowing us to experience a President that wasn't a lifelong politician, but a lifelong American.
THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.....YOU DID YOUR BEST.
When you consider all that President Trump accomplished in four years it's no wonder the liberals are scared to death of him. He showed them for what they are and Kelly is doing an excellent job showing us just how desperate liberals really are.
Dave Johnson,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 17, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
Now we know. The vast majority of the Republican Senate/Senators (RS) doesn’t care if a president of their Party violates every administrative and democratic standard of high office and every oath he has taken, going so far as to incite to riot against Congress as it performed its Constitutional duties.
The house managers did a good job of showing the Senate and history what actually happened on January 6, which the defense deemed “incendiary” since the facts were against them. The majority of the RS twirled and showed their knickers. The former president’s lawyers then took a bow and lawyers everywhere averted their eyes from the embarrassing spectacle.
When the verdict acquitted Trump, McConnell took to the podium and confirmed that "everything they said about him is true." He agreed Trump was guilty. It was lack of jurisdiction he had relied upon to acquit, even though the senate had established jurisdiction on a vote several days before. Past bad presidents refrained from like conduct because they knew it would not be overlooked, excused, or tolerated. Until last Saturday. If this Republican defection from duty emboldens white nationalists and milita fringe groups, remember: you broke it, you own it.
The GOP can no longer profess that they represent “conservative values.” They can no longer decry violence, or even riots, anywhere by anyone; the president advocated it. Engendering violence against Congress is permissible. The marauding mob who accepted Trump’s invitation to get “wild’ at the capitol? They will surely be punished to the full extent for the violence they delivered on Congress. But what of the guy who urged them to “Save the day of January 6” and threw gasoline on their heavily armed, already-smoking impulses to “save their country” by “fighting like hell” and by specifically targeting his own VP? He’s already gone from “loving” them as patriots to sharing his disappointment at how “low-class” they looked.
Why does the RS defend and protect such an emotionally-crippled, unprincipled person for whom the door of loyalty swings only one way? They do it because they desperately want the Republican base votes at any cost. So, they will endure his abuse and pretend they are doing it for the country. We were given opposable thumbs and relatively large brains, presumably so that we could use them.
In his last editorial, Martin said that, as Editor, he was being “generous with me” in printing my LTTEs. I think I might have said that in my Christmas letter; that extra Pimms Cup may be the culprit. A better way to put it, I think, is that Martin upholds the high standards of the ideal press, to print information, if reliable, from all points of view. “Fair and balanced,” if that rings a bell. For that, I am respectful.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 10, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
This will be another momentous week in American history. Second impeachment and second trial for one president. One offense involved using the foreign powers of the US government to gain cooperation of another country to silence a political rival and, the second, incitement to riot against his own government while in office.
But I am all about trying to find a ray of sunshine, some reason to smile, or a laugh, at the turn history is giving us. I regret that I only have about 350 words for this missive, because I could have you rolling on the floor if Martin would give me carte blanche. But I kid Martin.
If you haven't seen and heard the recent Mike Lyndell "documentary" on the ways the 2020 election was "stolen," check YouTube because I cannot do it justice here. It takes Trump's arguments on how he won a landslide victory and commits them to video as if Jackson Pollack were illustrating "How Logic Works." He gives you Satan influencing voting algorithms! "Absolute Proof" will be Exhibit "A" at Dominion’s slander trial. I would start racking up those "good night's sleep" hours now, Mike.
Or Gym Jordan (QAnon-OH), who called on Democrats to "move on," to ignore Trump's 2021 Capitol War to earn the GOP's sly and heavily-conditioned promise of "unity," and decried the collapse of civilization in "cancel culture." There is a Sack cartoon in the Star Tribune of Colin Kaepernick, laughing.
Then there's the high-wire clown act, hilarious but frightening in its craziness: Marjorie Something Greene (Q-GA), believes Parkland, Newtown and other mass murders were "false flags" or hoaxes, asserts that CA wildfires are the result of space lasers, and has endorsed calls for the assassinations of Democratic legislators. All of these astounding beliefs, including her psychedelic claim that Democratic elites are part of a cannibalizing pedophile ring, earned her the Wall Street Journal's verdict of being merely "cuckoo" and "nutty."
Here's the funny part: Kevin McCarthy (Q-CA) minority House leader, gave Marjorie a "talking to" such that the Republican House gave her a standing ovation on the floor the other day. They endorsed her and, therefore, are complicit in her madness. No wonder Pelosi jerks McQ around with such aplomb.
Heck, here I am just getting started and I've reached my word count limit. Time to get serious. Because America.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 03, 2021

To the Editor:
The "Flu"
Thank you for publishing the fascinating article on the 1918 “Spanish Flu” as experienced in Fillmore. The article makes the point that the virus was not “Spanish” (any more than the “Wuhan Flu” was necessarily Chinese in origin). The article on the 1918 pandemic also made it clear that the Fillmore medical authorities’ ultimate insistence on social distancing was a reaction of science, not a “communist plot” to ruin lives and businesses.
Science is clear that new viruses are caused by people intruding into animal habitat or living in close proximity to them. Enough exposure to animal viruses can sometimes result in transfer to humans. These places often have poor sanitation, places that do not have an EPA to provide living standards. There are many theories as to why Covid-19 erupted now and exactly where, and the Chinese likely suspected something threatening and should have sounded the alarm earlier. The scientific world has known about viruses and their potential for pandemic for years. This one was "novel" and the vaccines prepared proactively were not very useful against it.
The world, particularly the US, was aware by mid-December 2019 that a significant health threat was here. Pictures of hundreds of rapidly-built Wuhan hospitals, with thousands of beds, were in the news by then, and something odd was happening in Italy.
Six weeks later, on January 20,2020, Americans were evacuated from Wuhan airport by hazmat-suited Chinese. Our government provided no masks or any other protective gear. When they arrived at March AFB, the evacuees were deplaned and disbursed, by CDC health officials, without PPE, instructions for protection, or how to self-monitor for symptoms. Then the government health officials hopped on commercial flights to other destinations.
Covid-19 news was in the public realm nearly two months before government reacted. We chose to minimize the risk and take care not to spook the stock markets or alarm the electorate in an election year, and to rein in the CDC and our world-renowned health scientists so the consequences of our failure to act responsibly in the public good would be less obvious.
There is an extensive article analyzing the increasing mutations of Covid-19: http://www.wired.com
WIRED
Culture Former FBI Agent Breaks Down Interrogation Techniques. Former FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro breaks down how he approached interrogating during his time with the FBI.
www.wired.com
In the right-hand column, there is an article by Megan Molteni, "Worrisome Corona Virus Mutations are Emerging. Why Now?"
In the last paragraphs, the author quotes Tulio de Oliveira, and geneticist and bioinformatician in South Africa, about what we can do now to reduce the horrific risk of ever-mutating viruses: "Buying time until then means doing everything that has so far proven effective at limiting its chances of finding new hosts, and new opportunities to mutate: social distancing, mask-wearing, avoiding crowds, and increasing ventilation. “The important thing,” says de Oliveira, “is to realize we have to drive transmission to almost zero if we are to avoid new variants emerging in the future.”
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Blueberry farmers in California and across the country on the verge of bankruptcy because of an influx of foreign imports flooding the U.S. marketplace with cheap, low-quality fruit.
If the U.S. government does not take action to address the flood of fruit saturating the market – dismantling the ability of American farmers to compete – our domestic blueberry industry will be gutted in two to five years. This means hundreds of blueberry farms, like my fourth-generation family ranch in Ventura County, will be forced to close.
Imported blueberries used to stop entering the United States just as we began our harvesting season, which typically runs from January through May here in California. But this is no longer reality. Imports from Mexico and Peru, in particular, now enter our market throughout our harvesting period. Since 2015, imports have surged by 62 percent, and the main countries growing blueberries – Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Peru – have ramped up production solely to sell into the American market. The result is falling blueberry prices that are devastating the balance sheets and business prospects of blueberry farmers here and in other states.
The Biden administration can act to save the American blueberry industry. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is currently investigating the impact of blueberry imports on domestic growers and will make a decision on our case on February 11. We’re not asking for a ban on blueberry imports; American farmers just need some temporary relief to help us compete on pricing during our critical growing harvest season and level the playing field.
A strong domestic food supply chain is important to the sovereignty of our nation, and the American blueberry industry is worth defending.
Josh Waters,
Moorpark

 
Letters to the Editor
January 20, 2021

To the Editor:
The inferences you drew from my last letter made no sense until I visited the site you recommended, “The Epoch Times,” where they seem to apply the Leninist, Marxist label to anyone who sees the world from a different perspective. Allow me to provide some background to my views.
My father was a decorated (Bronze Star and Purple Heart) Marine who fought in the Korean War. He despised communism and all forms of enslavement. When I was a kid, I noticed more and more people driving Japanese cars, and I asked him why there weren’t any Russian or Chinese cars on our streets. He replied, “Because what they make in communist countries is garbage.” He worked in the manufacturing sector, and had been to international trade shows. He knew that police-state governments suffocate the human soul, killing off innovation and creativity. So no, Jim and Marie Sandford did not raise no communists.
In my letter I branded your “fraud expert and statistician” Jay Valentine’s work as “junk.” In retrospect, after having viewed another of his YouTube videos (where all of his prognostications about Trump being able to overturn the election turned out to be bogus), I was too generous. His work is delusional, asinine drivel – much like the conspiracy theories he espouses.
You assumed I am a Democrat, but I am a democrat with no party affiliation.
Am I anti-religion, as you asserted? Hell no. Religion is the lens through which billions of people view their world. It gives them purpose, comfort, joy, and community. I am only anti-religion if that religion is used as a pretext to exclude, harass, persecute, or murder others.
You dismissed my assertion that “multiple statistical models” predicted a Biden victory. Then you asked what my “credentials” were. The Harvard Data Science Review (October 28, 2020) published predictions from their own and several other research universities’ Political Science Departments. Each used its own statistical modelling, but nearly all predicted a Biden victory. In Political Symposium, (October 2020) Professor DeSart stated that (per his model’s simulations) “Biden … won an Electoral College majority 99.85% of the time. This is largely the result of the fact that the model projects many more possible paths for Biden to get to 270 than it does for Trump.” So, again, this was, statistically, a fairly mundane election, unlike Trump’s 2016 victory.
As for my “credentials,” no, I am not a data scientist and I don’t have a degree in statistics. However, in earning a BA in Political Science I studied statistics and did some quantitative research. In earning my Ph.D. in Education from UCSB I took additional coursework in stats and quantitative research methods, and read and cited dozens of quantitative studies in the course of doing my own research.
So yes, I have a working knowledge of statistical methods and analysis. My most valuable credentials, however, are common sense and critical thinking. In order to perpetuate massive fraud in a presidential election being held in 50 states, how many co-conspirators would be required? Who would recruit them, knowing that any one of them could blow the whistle? Who would be willing to be imprisoned for years, lose their livelihood, their family, their reputation, their freedom, just to help Joe Biden win an election that most polls had projected him to win?
Finally, regarding the “breach” (the term favored by insurrection deniers on right wing media sites) of the Capitol, the 100 or so traitors who have been arrested so far all have extensive social media trails in which they boast of their support for Trump. No Antifa kooks have been arrested. Could there have been some infiltrators from leftist extremist groups? Certainly. But, lacking any evidence to the contrary, to put the blame on anyone other than Mr. butt-hurt Trump and his acolytes for the deadly assault on our Constitution and the rule of law is just more asinine, delusional drivel.
Thank you.
Art Sandford Sr.

***

To the Editor:
I hope that you, once again, will allow me a few extra words.
Another of our iconic citizens, George Campbell, died the other day of Covid. I should say two iconic citizens, because his wife of 75 years died on the same day, at home. It seems appropriate that, as always, they would go together.
I did not know Lawanda but, like so many others, I knew George so she had to be remarkable, too. I worked with him at City Hall in the 1980's when he was the volunteer fire chief and healer of all things electrical, and I was the city clerk. I remarked once to John that Mr. Campbell, and then “George” after his definite correction, was a singularly dignified, calm, and steady person whom everyone revered. You could absolutely rely on anything George said.
Well, John took off on George Campbell. He told me that he was not only a great person, but a great flier in WWII, and a mechanical genius with incredible automotive skills which John, lamentably and admittedly, never had. George was up there with coaches of all sports, football players, some very colorful lawyers, and WWII military in John’s mind. George was a hero. And John was never given to hyperbole outside the courtroom.
George and Lawanda Campbell have an extensive family legacy in Fillmore, and they will be sorely missed.
**
We are about to start a new administration on Wednesday. Right in the middle of one of the most challenging periods of our country’s history. I have written enough, for the moment, of the current administration. The problems created by Trump and his crew are Biden/Harris problems now. And ours.
Will Joe Biden be able to solve all the problems of the nation in a rapidly changing world? No, he won’t. He’s going to try to change the way the government serves its citizens, the way it deals with the world, and the way it recognizes the concept of “We, the People.” But he is going to need some time to set the ship of state on a new course. And he cannot do it alone.
A lot of the old rules are not working any more. The expectations of the years since WWII have to be reexamined and adjusted, because history is, as always, on the move. We have been through some very trying times, and we may not be finished. But we have endured because we had a common cause: the survival and success of our democratic process and the prosperity and well-being of our people. We are going to have to be open to new, constructive, and forward-thinking ideas. Biden cannot save the nation, but all of us, committed, can. We've done it before.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
A few weeks ago, I wrote a plea to Fillmore residents to exercise civility when writing about our president. It would seem my words fell on deaf ears. Not only has the rhetoric become more intense, but the language has descended into hate speech. It is truly a shame that Americans cannot communicate without using insulting and disparaging language. I have no problem when readers choose to disagree with matters of policy, but when the conversation turns to insults, lies, and just plain nasty personal attacks I think we have crossed a line which will only lead to more animosity. But as bad as the attacks on President Trump have become there is in fact a more important issue we should be discussing. Ronald Reagan said "We are only one generation away from losing our freedom".
We have educated a generation of our youth to believe they are the entitlement generation and that America is a racist nation. Free college tuition, free Medicare, subsidized housing, guaranteed middle class wages etc. Socialism is the great seductive carrot used by the far left to entice people to join their cause. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Socialism works until you run out of other people's money. As Reagan said, "history will record our actions - or lack thereof' with astonishment and sorrow". Reagan also said "If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth".
Dennis Prager recently wrote a column about the "good German" a term used to describe the ordinary German who did not harm Jews during Hitler's rule but also didn't help them or attempt to stop the Nazis. We tend to hold such people in contempt for doing nothing in the face of astonishing barbarism. But Prager continues, the last few years have taught him not to judge the good German so quickly. Why? Because of "the ease with which tens of millions of Americans have accepted irrational, unconstitutional, and unprecedented police state-type restrictions on their freedoms, including even the freedom to make a living".
Did you ever think the government would forbid you from going to church, using the park, eating at a restaurant, going to a barber or hair dresser, and forcing you to wear a mask when outside your house. Did you ever think that big tech companies would independently censure your ability to communicate your political opinions on the internet? Just one final quote from Reagan, "history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening".
Dave Johnson & Huguette Johnson,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
In days past I would use my words to wrestle with you over our conflicting political views. That seems wrong now because you appear to be in a state of shock over the results of the “stolen” November election. (Perhaps grief is a better word?) I am concerned for your well being.
My specific concern is that there can be no remedy for losing your democracy to “leftist radicals” who will disfigure every legislative policy that doesn’t promote socialism and sell out to China, and climate change hoaxers, and Antifa, and etc.,.... gun control nuts... There is no remedy for that depth of despair.
I can offer just a half-measure solution. That remedy is to follow the example of those of us who were shocked and victimized, in a similar way to how you might now be feeling, by the murder of George Floyd last March.
We took to the streets. It felt good to gather in a warm and resolute huddle in Central Park and listen to some pointed and emotional speeches. Then we chanted and marched and hollered our way down to highway 126, where motorists honked out their support. (Yeah! Love you too! Hoo-rah!) ... Finally, we ended up trampling the green grass in front of the seemingly vacant police station. (Don’t I admit it? I trampled the grass... so disrespectful we were of law enforcement, manifestly.)
Putting sarcasm aside, sir, you also might benefit from publicly demonstrating with your brothers and sisters in the local #STOPTHESTEAL community. Because, like us with Black Lives Matter, clearly your message is felt to be real and urgent: ”The election was stolen!”
Sincerely, Tom Somers

 
Letters to the Editor
January 13, 2021

To the Editor:
I want to thank Mr. Farrell for continuing to publish the Fillmore Gazette and, I hope, this letter.
With all due respect, Mr. Farrell, I read some of the work of “fraud expert and statistician” Jay Valentine. His work is junk. It’s not science. Scientists do not start with a conclusion, and then go searching for evidence to support it. Multiple statistical models predicted a narrow Biden victory, a few models predicted a Trump win. There was nothing “statistically impossible” about Biden’s win, and the only thing stolen in the 2020 election was the money that Trump et al. duped their supporters out of as part of their grift operation known as “Stop the Steal.”
To quote that radical leftist, atheist, communist Senator Mitch McConnell, "If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We'd never see the whole nation accept an election again."
McConnell’s co-conspirator, Senator Lindsey Graham opined, “If you’re a conservative, the idea that Vice President Mike Pence could reverse the results of the election (as President Trump had urged him to do) “is the most offensive concept in the world.”
Of course, Donald Trump, that very stable genius, is not now, nor has he ever been, a conservative. He has no ideology. He lacks the maturity to be a man of principles. He’s a demagogue, per Webster’s, “a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of people rather than by using rational argument.”
And now, sadly, (at least) five people are dead as a result of his conceit, his greed, his gullibility, his recklessness, and his delusions of grandeur. Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." It’s time to condemn all forms of violent extremism and live in the real world. The challenges facing this country can only be met through thoughtful, civil discourse and rationale, well-planned actions.
Art Sandford Sr.

***

To the Editor:
As a Valencia orange grower in Bardsdale and a stockholder in Southside Improvement Company, I am very disturbed by the Company's Board of Directors' approval of a "Trump" flag flying at its reservoir on Bardsdale Avenue. I wrote to the Board over two weeks ago requesting they remove this flag, as this blatant political statement is not shared by all of the members of the Southside Improvement Company. Apparently they have chosen to ignore my letter, because the flag is still there. Whoever erected the flag should display it at his own private residence, not on property belonging to a non-profit corporation. Especially after the events at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6, that this flag continues to fly at the reservoir is an insult to Southside's stockholders who were outraged at the disrespect, destruction, and death they witnessed on television that night. Southside Improvement Company should remove the "Trump" flag immediately.
Marjie Bartels
Bardsdale

***

To the Editor:
Impeachment.
Promise kept: on day one of his presidency, Trump warned of an American Carnage. You have to give him credit when due.
Now, the consequences. What is the highest good for our country? (1) allowing the President of the United States to incite a riot, without consequence, by endorsing his lawyer's call for "hand-to-hand combat," and admonishing his fanatical minions to march to the halls of Congress and “take back our power” to reverse his loss in the presidential election, or (2) impeaching the president for the incitement of insurrection so that no future president will be similarly tempted?
Many of the Republican members of Congress, of both House and Senate, Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Kevin McCarthy, et al., encouraged the falsehood that the election was somehow improper when no court could find a cause of action or any proof thereof. They supported every obstacle to the peaceful transfer of power, bellowed their right to spread their lies, and hid from their marauding constituents, some of whom carried zip ties, as they ransacked the Capitol. But now they are calling for "unity" and for "moving on" without impeachment or invoking Article 25,
They want Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer to call off impeachment “for the good of the country.” If those Republicans had really cared about the good of the country, they would not have allowed a clearly mentally fragile, narcissistic, and vengeful president to create the false scenario of a stolen election, confine his presidential duties to daily golf excursions, and lie to and incite his followers to move against the constitutional government he took an oath to protect.
Graham explained that he was with Trump all day Friday, and Trump is sorry about the vandalism and is preparing a speech "outlining all his accomplishments." Roy Blunt informs us that the "president touched the hot stove on Wednesday, and is unlikely to touch it again," reminiscent of Susan Collins' assurances that "Trump has learned his lesson" after the last impeachment. They treat him as a child, and while he probably is emotionally just that, they are every bit as responsible for this national disgrace as he is. They enabled, excused, and extolled him. And then, finally, they beg for “peace and unity" when he finally morphs his unshackled self-adulation into sedition.
The decision to impeach is not about removing Trump from office. The people have spoken and they have chosen Biden to lead the country for the next 4 years. Impeachment in this instance is not about politics, it is about national security. Threats not just from unfriendly nations, but from the precedent that a president can act against the interests and most revered principles of our nation and pay no price for his treachery.
Kelly Scoles

 
Letters to the Editor
January 6, 2021

To the Editor:
The Trump administration is trying, on many levels, to subvert the presidential transition. One example is Russell Vought, the now-director of the Office of Management and Budget. In a presidential transition, OMB is tasked with coordinating with the incoming administration to communicate current policy and budgetary matters, including plans for pandemic medical and economic relief, so that the presidential transition will be as seamless as possible for the incoming administration and for the benefit of the country.
Vought has refused to do that, declining to provide Biden’s team with vital information under the argument that they will just use the information to “dismantle this administration’s work.” He has apparently not been made aware, as the Trump administration has observed so often, that “elections have consequences.” He apparently also does not understand that the OMB’s work product does not belong to Trump or to OMB but belongs to “we, the people.” This is a common misconception in the present administration, as is the idea that they have a right to make the transition as difficult as possible for the Biden administration. Because Trump.
We all know by now that Vought’s response comes directly from the current president, the man who has said repeatedly that “I, alone, can fix it.” That the only way he will accept the election result is, “if I win.” Who has determined that everyone who disagrees with him, the Supreme Court, federal courts, state courts, state elections offices and their governors (Democratic and Republican), DrudgeReport, the New York Post (!), the Electoral College and even Mitch McConnell, are all wrong. He didn’t lose the election, he can’t lose the election, he will not accept losing the election. Please, Mr. Trump, you’ll have some time now; get some therapy.
Whatever you may think politically of Joe Biden, he does not believe that he owns the office of President of the United States. He does not think that every federal employee owes allegiance to him, personally, or that he knows everything, or that it’s his way or the highway. He does not think the government exists to serve his financial interests. He knows his job is to serve the interests of the American people, as best he can. Appallingly, Russell Vought of OMB, and other critical agencies, does not understand that. We are the losers.
By Kelly Scoles

***

To the Editor,
In recent weeks Fillmore has been significantly affected by the surge in COVID-19. As of Monday, the community of Fillmore has seen 265 positive cases within the last two weeks which is 1300% higher than the county goal of less than 100 cases per 100,000 population to be placed in the red tier by the state’s standard. This exponential growth is deeply concerning given the governor’s recent incentive to increase per pupil spending in districts that begin reopening K-6 classrooms in mid-February. COVID-19 in Fillmore is rampant and the risks to both students and staff with a hasty return to in-person learning while the virus is out of control is cause for alarm.
Safety of students, staff, and the community at large must be paramount to any consideration of reopening despite the appeal of additional funding. Any reopening plan must be established in coordination and collaboration between school district administration and local educator associations with health and safety as the top priority for both sides. Negotiations take time. On behalf of FUTA and the students we serve, I urge Fillmore Unified to demonstrate restraint in their decision to return to in person instruction. It is imperative we do not rush into reopening without a proper plan in place to take advantage of the governor’s incentive. It is the responsibility of FUSD leadership to provide the due diligence necessary to collaborate with all stakeholders and establish a reopening plan that respects the safety and health of the community of Fillmore.
Tammy Ferguson
FUTA President

***

To the Editor:
Just wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for the many columns you have written dispensing accurate and meaningful information. I am 77 and in all my years I have never seen so much fake news and outright lies told by the press. I understand that politics can become a blood sport but the intensity and vestural hatred displayed by the press these past few years is truly disturbing and poses the question how can" we the people" come together as one nation when we are being torn asunder by the nightly news. I know there are citizens of Fillmore who would disagree with my conservative views but there are many who hold the same values you express each week. For those who disagree please let's not speak ill of one another. Vigorous discussion of the issues is the American way of solving our collective issues. I hope 2021 will be a year when we can find more common ground and less anger. Keep up the good work Martin and hopefully we will see more Fillmore citizens participating in the dialogue. Let's just remember to keep the dialogue factual and civil.
Dave Johnson, Fillmore Ca

***

To the Editor:
One thing that you have to give to the Democrats is that they don't fool around - they get things done. The Democrats in the House have gotten something meaningful done already, and we're just a few days into the new year. They just passed a rule change banning the use of words like "parent, grandparent, father, mother, son, daughter, aunt, uncle," etc. from use on the floor of the House of Representatives. They've EXcluded all of these words, of course, in the name of inclusivity. One wonders if this kind of stupidity comes naturally to these people, or if they have to work at it. Hopefully, some of the sane people there will start using these banned words every time they speak. When they're called out of order for daring to use words like "father" or "mother" on the floor of the House, maybe the public will see what kind of people we have running our country and do something about it. One wonders where Julia Brownley stands on this rule change. You should ask her.
Pastor Leslie Lanier
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
December 30, 2020

To the Editor:
Here is my response to your “Realities” editorial “showing” how Joe Biden was “fraudulently” elected:
First, all of us Democrats quickly learned that the will of the tiniest majority of people in Florida, in November 2000, was to send Al Gore to the White House.
Secondly, we learned that the election in Florida had some unintentional but crucial snafus to it, (i.e. the “butterfly” ballot) resulting in George W. Bush’s narrow election.
Thirdly, we disappointed Democrats fell in line with our candidate, who graciously conceded the election... a shocking result, to lose on a 59-yard field goal with no time left!!
In November your candidate lost; there is no evidence of voter fraud, the federal and state courts have said so 50 times, and China was not involved. Nor do the Trump campaign lawyers assert otherwise to a judge... any judge, anywhere.
The only question is, can you serve us Fillmorites by accepting reality, or does it just feel so very wrong, in your long experience of politics, that you know that clinging to a BIG CONSPIRACY is the noble path forward?
Respectfully submitted,
Tom Somers
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
I was very troubled to read your apocalyptic view of our country and the world. As if periods of great change have not always brought with them the anxiety, fear of the unknown, and pain of some sort. I heard a lot of pain in that editorial, some of it passing as deep angst, and I know that you are not the only one so afflicted. I know, too, that so many are facing more immediate concerns about food and job security as well as Covid resistance. The events of the last four years, especially 2020, will change our country and the world forever.
Change is hard for all and disastrous for some. Fortunately, On January 20, 2021, we will have an administration that has a track record of trying to improve government and responding to the needs of the ever-expanding failures of our current economic practices. The Democratic Party has not done enough for the working class. The Republican Party believes the ordinary American is disposable, that status quo will keep most of them in line, and can often be relied upon to accept entertainment over policy. Under McConnell, McCarthy, Blackburn, Grassley, Cornyn, Graham, et al., it has has been demonstrated that the GOP believes conservative (and necessarily, change-resistant) power is its own reward
We need all the vision and new ideas we can engender because the changes coming are massive. For one, we must determine the country’s economic base. It’s not manufacturing (unless it is renewable, or “green,” energy and equipment), or gas and oil, or services. Farming is at risk. Banking will be our base? Our GNP is not doing well. One political approach, under the Republicans and Trump, has not worked, even without Covid. The stock market does not reliably help anyone who cannot take a major financial hit, and that’s most of us.
It's up to us, as it should be. We are in this together and we're going to be called upon to prove it. Everyone in this country and every country on the planet. America First does not help us. Talking loudly, crudely and ignorantly whilst brandishing a big stick is clearly counter-productive, as Teddy R advised. We do not operate in a vacuum. here or anywhere. The current practice of the Capitalistic Faith is not working for far, far too many people; it requires a second look and some readjustments. And fast.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
December 23, 2020

To the Editor:
It is Christmas week, in honor of which I will not render any political opinions. I hope this finds you in touch with family, virtually and spiritually if not physically. This will end and we will be restored to our loved ones. Thank you to those who observed the mask and washing protocols.
I was so happy to see Art Sanford’s Letter to the Editor (LTTE) last week. We are so fortunate in Fillmore, in that we have a local newspaper for just our community, where can expound on our concerns, and dispute (or agree with) our Editor. We are fortunate that Martin tolerates opposing opinions in the Gazette, and sometimes I think he gets a charge out of them. I hope that more readers will take on an issue when they feel so moved. I have tried to get Martin to give me a little weekly column so that I don’t take up all that space in the LTTE but, so far, no luck. Thank you, Mr. Farrell, for publishing opinions, especially when they are diametrically opposed to your own.
For Martin and Tenea and staff, thanks for all your hard work. Thanks to all the parents who are working so hard at keeping their kids in virtual school, and the teachers who have to keep up with 30 kids by computer. Shops and stores that have enforced the mask requirement have my gratitude. The parents who work are heroic, and even more so those who cannot. God bless the farmworkers, postal workers, and all those delivery people. 2020 has been a long and difficult year. The burden on some has been harder, on some easier, but let us all do what we can to lift up others in 2021. Happy Christmas Season.
Kelly Scoles

 
Letters to the Editor
December 16, 2020

To the Editor:
I looked at the sources you offer to support your theory that the election was “stolen.” One source is a PhD who claimed the coronavirus was a hoax, one who mistook cities in Minnesota for cities in Michigan and screamed “fraud” when the election numbers didn’t add up (ya think?), and another who found "statistical anomalies" conclusive of fraud. Allegations, opinions, accusations, suggestions, and conspiracy theories require proof to be persuasive. Your citations fail meet that standard, as has Trump in the courts.
The Supreme Court has declined to hear several cases related to the election. The Cyber Elections Chief, Attorney General Barr, Matt Drudge, Erik Erickson, various elected Republican state officers, local and federal judges, have found no fraud in the election process which would effect a change in the electoral result. So, all these people are suddenly in league against Donald J. Trump, people in his own Republican Party, and that doesn’t inform your opinion on the validity of the election? I would say that you believe what you want to believe and no one, short of your choice of deity, directly and in person or possibly in a burning bush, could change that.
Democrats understand that the Republicans are disbelieving and disconsolate over the results of the election. We’ve been there. Twenty years ago, Al Gore lost the election in Florida, a state whose governor was the Republican candidate’s brother, Jeb. The Supreme Court, along party lines, ordered that the Florida recount stop, and awarded the presidency to W. on the basis of 537 Floridian votes, though Gore won the national popular vote by 500,000 votes. Al Gore conceded. He didn’t see dead people, everywhere, voting.
Recall the reaction to Hillary Clinton’s loss four years ago. She won the national popular vote by three million votes and lost by mere hundreds of votes in some places where Democrats had long held sway. She was shocked, many of us were, but we did not challenge the ultimate outcome, even though suspicions of Russian interference in the run-up to the election were rampant. Like it or not, Trump was president and she conceded, albeit unhappily, the next day.
Leaving aside Trump's emotional problems that make him unable to accept reality not in his favor, he believes that he IS the state and a challenge to him is a challenge to the republic. That, in and of itself, beyond all the repugnant things that Trump has done, all the grift he has practiced, all the malignancy with which he has processed his tenure, is enough to disqualify him. Presidents who revere our Constitution do not attack it. Disappointed despots do.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
In 2016 Donald Trump ran a brilliant campaign. He bullied and bulldozed his way through the Republican primaries. His “Make America Great Again” un-filtered populism galvanized support from disaffected Americans -- primarily high school-educated, white (88%) conservatives. (Source: www.pewresearch.org)
Republicans should be proud of their party’s performance in the 2020 elections. They picked up seats in the House, and will likely retain a small margin in the Senate. In gubernatorial and state legislative races, Republicans fared better than Democrats. There was no “blue wave.”
If the 2020 election was “rigged, fixed, a massive fraud,” then it was a poorly executed operation. Perhaps the next time that “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Warren Buffet’s chauffer, Chairman Mao’s grandson, the ghost of Hugo Chavez, and Bill Gate’s Cuban pool boy spy meet in the basement, sex-slave dungeon of the Baskin-Robbins on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue to plot their next act of world domination (and enjoy a two-scoop hot fudge sundae), they will do more than conjure up a “statistically impossible” victory for the Democratic presidential nominee.
If there were evidence of massive fraud, why doesn't his legal dream team present it in court? Because they’re lackeys, but they’re not stupid and, as officers of the court, they don’t want to end up in jail or get fined by a judge. “Despite Trump’s allegations to the contrary, his lawyers have acknowledged that they are not claiming that dead people voted or that occasional computer glitches were part of a deliberate conspiracy.” (Source: www.snopes.com)
In 2016 Trump defeated Clinton 304-227. In 2020 Biden beat Trump 306-225. That’s politics in a democratic republic with a federalist system. Trump lost the 2020 election. Time to move on. Time to work together. Time to stop indulging the ego-maniacal fantasies of a spoiled, petulant, vindictive, autocratic, erratic, and soon-to-be ex-president.
Art Sandford Sr.
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
December 9, 2020

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
It concerns me that you are trying to create baseless doubts in people’s minds about the last election. Even Rush Limbaugh has said the base is starting to look like kooks.
Contrary to your flurry of fevered assertions last week, the election has been decided by the electorate by 7,000,000 vote majority, as reported by the Chief of Cybersecurity for Elections, Christopher Krebs, a lifelong Republican hired by President Trump to safeguard the elections system from interference by foreign or domestic actors. Krebs was fired by Trump just after the election when Krebs assured the nation that it was the "safest election in history." But, since Trump had been promising a “rigged election” since June, off with his head.
AG Bill Barr, who has heretofore been Trump's bulldog, has determined that there is no evidence of fraud or error that would change any election outcome, and is awaiting his guillotine. Thirty-four judges in various states and counties, many of them Republican nominees to the bench, have denied allegations of fraud because of ridiculous pleadings and lack of evidence.
Secretaries of States and Attorneys General of both political parties have confirmed that no votes were counted anywhere but in the US. It is a mystery why the voting machines employed by a dead Venezuelan despot could only negate votes for Trump. Do you honestly think that in the Democratic political genius, only the votes for Trump were manipulated on multi-race ballots?
I can assure you that, if the Democrats had decided to “fix” the election, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Joni Ernst, Susan Collins and Kevin McCarthy would be looking for other employment, and there would be no need for a runoff for the Georgia senate seats.
As for the “courage and determination” of Rudy “Ghouliani” of melting-hair fame, and Sidney “Kraken” Powell: Powell was removed from the very small team of attorneys willing to serve Trump’s demands because she was so crazy. Too bonkers for Rudy; no small achievement. Meanwhile, Trump grifts for money to “fight the election fraud.” Everyone knows what the money is for. It is for Donald personally, as it always has been.
If, at this point, you are going to call an election a massive deliberate fraud, you cannot avail yourself of excuses, “too numerous to mention here.” If you’ve got something besides the litany of fraud allegations in your editorial, all rejected by the courts, let’s have it, Martin. You are correct that honest elections are of vital importance to our democracy. Honest acceptance of the results is, too.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
December 2, 2020

To the Editor:
Money isn't everything. We have significant challenges in a changing world. But when our economic system is failing most of our country, when thousands of working poor are homeless, when kids have to rely on the schools for breakfast, lunch and snack, and when 7,000 families in one city in Texas line up for free food, our capitalistic system is seriously out of whack. One reason is that the economic elites realize hundreds of millions of dollars a year in salary, corporate profits, or tax deductions, yet the minimum wage and general compensation for a changed labor market has received no corresponding benefit since the 1980’s. Trickle-down is a distant joke.
Most of us feel this. Many no longer feel safely in the middle class as defined when we were kids; children will not do better than we did; tax dollars are not enough to fund education, transportation, infrastructure and societal programs required for a an advanced nation in a rising economic tide. Deferring maintenance of infrastructure, including schools, transportation, highways and bridges, exploded back in the Reagan Era and were ably supported by the tender mercies of Grover Norquist: above all lower taxes for the rich, and somewhat for the middle class if absolutely necessary to keep the grumbling down.
Both political parties have failed in this regard. Trump seemed to many like a political breath of fresh air when he signaled his free-speaking, politically incorrect, blue collar populism. But Trump's plans to cut taxes included cutting school lunch programs, gutting Medicare and SSA, or overturning pre-existing conditions (and lied about it). He said he understood the aggrieved and forgotten middle-American, he stuck his angry fingers in the faces of elites, but nothing changed.
The Democrats have failed to convince the country that the ordinary person, the laborer, is their constituency. The Democratic hearts are there, but they learned back in 1980's that the only way they could survive the mesmerizing but absurd "Morning in America" was to cuddle up to corporations and try to beat the Republicans at their own game. They can't. They talk the right priorities but generally do not deliver them to a disappointed constituency.
If our democratic capitalistic society is to survive, the basic needs of ordinary citizens must be achievable, or we must consider another system which is more equitable. There is a new president. Let’s prioritize the repair of our economic system going forward (alternative energies would provide thousands of jobs), and decide what each of us owes to, and can expect from, our government. We must explore what the contract we made with each other long ago means in today’s world, and whether the Great American Experiment can survive.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore